The Promised Neverland was a critically acclaimed and commercially successful manga series that mixed dark themes and gory action with cerebral storytelling and a unique art style before being adapted into a smash-hit anime of similar quality that fans immediately flocked to. But by the time the second season came around, the anime took a huge hit creatively as the best manga story of the series — the Goldy Pond arc — was nowhere to be found.

Premiering to a level of hype usually only reserved for the most popular shōnen anime, The Promised Neverland season 2 released in 2021 to mostly negative reviews. Where the original season was a mostly faithful adaptation of the manga, the second season threw most of the remaining story — over one hundred manga chapters — to the wind, cutting and abbreviating iconic moments and arcs fans had waited years to see on the small screen. In this inexplicable rush to the finish, the anime completely skipped the Goldy Pond arc, a story where Emma and her family come face-to-face with a horrifying group of demons set in a secret preserve where humans are hunted for sport.

Goldy Pond Was Never Seen In The Promised Neverland Anime

Emma finds herself in Goldy Pond and the demons who reside there together

Written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu, the Goldy Pond arc ran from chapter #64 to chapter #95 and kicked off after Emma, Ray, and the other escaped orphans from Grace Field House find an underground bunker occupied by an adult human initially only known as “Geezer.” Convincing him to bring them to a place called Goldy Pond, Emma and Ray soon find themselves joining forces with another group of orphans who share a traumatic past with Geezer, aka Yugo, as fellow Glory Bell farm escapees, and who have formed a resistance to oppose the demons hunting and eating them. Led by the terrifying and smart demonic being named Leuvis, the demons of Bayon, Nous, Nouma, and Luce, pursue Emma and her newfound friends in a twisted “game” where they must survive until the music ends, only to have three days to recover before repeating these harrowing events.

Related: Promised Neverland Redefined What It Means to be a Shonen Manga

Finally able to take Leuvis down after a combined effort (and some choice firearms using special bullets), Emma and crew are able to start Goldy Pond’s self-destruction sequence, effectively ending an arc that easily could have been adapted into a full season of the show, yet for some head-scratching reason, simply wasn’t. Not only robbing fans of some of the manga’s best chapters, this story’s truncated anime run ensured that an integral part of The Promised Neverland’s overarching plot was completely missed, leading the remaining episodes to feel thematically rushed, narratively incoherent, thinly characterized, and worst of all, not even close to being manga-accurate.

Promised Neverland Deserved Better In The Anime’s Second Season

Levius' facemask is shattered and Goldy Pond exploding

This arc saw the series in top form as it combined all the best elements of what had already been established in the manga and added a unique twist on the human vs demon conflict, with Emma and Ray’s trip reinforcing their need to do whatever it takes to make it out of the demon world alive and with as many of their friends and family members as possible. The Promised Neverland deserved more than its second season offered, with the Goldy Pond arc never getting a proper adaptation in the anime space, so unless the still-in-development live-action show finds a way to bring that story to life, fans will have to settle for reading the manga to get the whole picture!

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